2014, the year of... anna ewers, the new brigitte bardot
Following in the footsteps of Claudia Schiffer and Lara Stone, 2014 was the year the fashion world welcomed its latest baby Bardot, Anna Ewers, the model storming the runways and bringing all the boys to her yard with a sultry date in the Pirelli...
Much like the Plastics, in any pack of supermodels, you'll find the sex kitten (Cindy Crawford/Gretchen Wieners), the brains, (Christy Turlington/Cady Heron) and the cutie (Kate Moss/Karen Smith). Then there's the queen bee, the star - the blonde with a capital B. These golden haired goddesses are always big-lipped, doe-eyed and with locks that Regina George would be proud of. They have previously taken human form in the likes of Claudia Schiffer, Lara Stone and Georgia Jagger, but there's one they all come after and have all been likened to - the archetypal blonde bombshell; Brigitte Bardot. Cannes' original sex kitten might have retired in 1973 but the image she spawned has been celebrated again and again in the fashion industry as her catwalk queen doppelgangers coin the nickname of "baby Bardot's."
The Bardot phenomenon was back this year as 21-year-old, German model Anna Ewers owned 2014. Walking into an agency in Columbia with her model friend aged 16, Anna's potential was immediately recognised, but on returning to her hometown of Freiburg, she didn't pursue the bright lights of the modelling world, instead deciding to finish out her school years without the distraction of designer clothes and showbiz that the fashion world is famed for. The scouts couldn't keep their mits off her for long though and Miss Ewers returned to the runway last year, stepping out in Alexander Wang's first show for Balenciaga. It might be a hard industry to break but if you can state that as your fashion world debut, you can relax and sit pretty - you're set for a fruitful career ahead.
That was autumn/winter 13, and although she popped up all over that season and the next, it's 2014 that's really been her year. In January, she opened Versace Haute Couture and walked Chanel Haute Couture, in February she closed Alexander Wang and opened and closed Versace, in March she opened Stella McCartney, in May she flew to Dubai for Karl Lagerfeld's Arabian princess Cruise show, in June she opened Calvin Klein Resort and closed Alexander Wang, in September she opened Derek Lam, Versus and Francesco Scognamiglio, closed Blumarine and opened and closed Nina Ricci, as well as walking for everyone from Dior to Balmain in between. You know what they say, a golden key can open any door!
2014 was also the year she secured her status as Alexander Wang's new muse. His first Balenciaga show may have been her catwalk debut, she may have starred in all his lookbooks since, closed both his namesake shows this year, starred in his spring/summer 14 and autumn/winter 14 campaigns as well as his first fragrance campaign for Balenciaga, but it's her part in his Winter 14 Denim ad that will have her face (and more) imprinted on your retinas for more than the usual flick of a page. The Steven Klein lensed pics hark back to the old days of sexy denim and would - should we not be more open-minded than we were in the 90s - out-provoke even those banned Calvin Klein ads. Wang's got Anna oiled up and sprawled out on a leather armchair with her jeans pooled around her ankles, a hand suggestively positioned to conceal her modesty and his logo blurring her areolas (it's still totally Instagram-friendly). For his first foray into the denim market, Alexander Wang is embracing fashion's oldest philosophy: sex sells, making Anna the centre of attention.
Brigitte Bardot became known just by her initials, and while AE doesn't have quite the same ring as BB, sounding more like the place you'll end up after one too many and a stupid idea, Anna Ewers is a dead ringer for the French actress as Miss June in 2015's notorious Pirelli Calendar, photographed by Steven Meisel. She may only crop up halfway through the year but out of all twelve models including Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls and Isabeli Fontana, it's Anna's face that took centre stage when the images were released this November. Maybe it's because it's the month of the summer solstice, but it's more likely Anna's BB appeal and the red latex thong she's wearing that will have Pirelli Calendar owners pretending it's June all year round.
Miss June can also count covers for Vogue Italia, Paris and China in her diary of 2014, alongside a place in the supermodel line-up of W's November 14 cover which included the likes of Kate Moss, Daria Werbowy, Racquel Zimmerman and Lara Stone, a Bruce Weber shot editorial for American Vogue, which, had she not been frolicking in the shallows with a very 21st century looking hunk, looks like she could have been plucked straight out of the 60s, campaigns for Versace, Prada and Marc Jacobs and an appearance in i-D's Versus by Anthony Vaccarello feature for Winter 14's The Beautiful Issue.
Since Brigitte Bardot burst onto the scene in Cannes, 1953 wearing a teeny weeny bikini, outraging as much as she inspired, the 'blonde' in popular culture has remained a classic stereotype. In the same way BB caused uproar with her role as an amoral teenager in controversial film And God Created Woman, so Anna Ewers channels her ingénue appeal with the hotly debated Alexander Wang denim campaign and sultry Pirelli Calendar appearance. Reminiscent of Simone de Beauvoir's The Lolita Syndrome, her essay first published in Esquire in August 1959 - provocative but never lewd, the 'blonde' is curvaceous, beautiful and indifferent to the power she holds, evokes luscious eroticism but also sexy simplicity. Claudia had it, Lara had it and we're excited to have a new baby Bardot in our midst in the form of Anna Ewers.
Text Felicity Kinsella
Photography Boo George
Styling Havana Laffitte
Anna wears jumpsuit Louis Vuitton. Rings Me and Ro.
[The Collectors Issue, no. 328, Winter 13]